Extra billions flowed into state treasury

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Finance Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen suddenly found himself with tens of billions of extra kroner as the New Year began, that he hadn’t expected. He says it will come in handy if the Norwegian economy starts feeling the effects of the debt and euro crises elsewhere.

The extra money that flowed into the state treasury is largely a result of higher oil revenue than budgeted, less use of oil revenues, and tax revenues from Norwegian business that were considerably higher than expected. The higher taxes generated reflect the strength of Norway’s economy.

“Cash flow has risen by, wow, these are big numbers,” Johnsen told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) as he gazed at the accounts in front of him.

All told, they indicate that Johnsen will be able to stash an extra NOK 115 billion (USD 19 billion) into Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, also known as the oil fund.

“This means we have created considerable reserves for ourselves, and in a difficult situation, they can come in handy,” Johnsen told DN. “We aimed to have our house in order, if difficult times hit, and that’s what we’ve done. We are prepared.”

Views and News staff